THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - J

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - J

 The many journals which I’ve used to record my thoughts, ideas, reflections etc …

The many journals which I’ve used to record my thoughts, ideas, reflections etc …

We’ve arrived at one of the tough letters. The letter J.

We’re playing The Language of Leadership and I’m asking you to share your words which you use to express leadership. Each day we travel the alphabet and it’s J, today.

I was initially stumped with the letter ‘J’ and then it hit me as I was putting the final touches to the running sheet of a team leadership workshop. I ask leaders to journal their thoughts about being a leader.

Journaling is a reflective practice which helps leaders empty their mind of their thoughts of what they’ve achieved during the day and how they feel about a situation which occurred and how they reacted and responded.

Journaling sets us up for a positive day as it fine tunes our mindset. It’s an exercise to ground us, to be mindful and get us into the present. Too often, our C suite swinging leaders are doing what they do well, steering the organisation into the future, however they leave their selves and people in the past.

I regularly recommend journaling, however, I don’t always practise what I preach! And then when I do, it’s amazing to have the clarity needed to make decisions and to focus solidly on an important piece of project work. It’s also great to build by resilience. It helps put my day’s activities, thoughts and feelings into perspective.

A little J offering is judging. Most of us judge a person or situation way too quickly. We don’t mine enough data to make a sound judgement. Today, pause before you talk, respond or make a decision.  

This morning I was up way too early, getting in my mornings work before the house erupted. My daughter Jenn needed a parent to take her to a divisional level of athletics. Given I work for myself, I have mastered Juggling my day, every day. I often struggle with the juggle, however I continue to practise the skill of juggling, knowing what to prioritise, identifying what’s really important and in particular what to drop e.g. say “No” too.

20181010_120404.jpg

How many balls can you juggle?

Juggling two priorities is manageable, and adding a third becomes a skill. (Can you see the person juggling the many balls in one hand?) It takes practice to be a leader of people, a parent, a committee member, a carer etc … this is what you’re juggling. I admire those that know their values and confidently allow these values to navigate and drive these choices and make juggling look so easy!

Finally, I want to add a final J word. I don’t tend to hear myself using the word, however I believe it’s a sign of an authentic leader. I admire people who avoid using jargon.

What about you? What do you admire in leaders …. Beginning with J?!

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - H

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - H

 Found this at Easy Health Options

Found this at Easy Health Options

We are travelling the alphabet exploring the language used to express our leadership.

Today is the letter H.

Which H letter words immediately come to mind?

I was surprised how quickly I came up with my H letter words. I hear myself using these three words on a daily basis: Hope, Honesty and Happiness.

Let’s begin with HOPE.

Viktor E. Frankl wrote ‘Mans Search for Meaning’, way back in the 40s and people are still reading it, including me and attributing their success as a leader to his lesson of hope.

Our ability to choose how we respond to people and situations (our behaviour) is attributed to knowing your purpose in life and the hope you have in fulfilling that purpose.

In leadership, we create the culture of the working environment which helps people fulfil their purpose; giving them hope to achieve their goals, whether that be intrinsic or extrinsic motivated.

When I work with people, as their leadership intelligence mentor, I hope that it will have a greater impact than they expected. I give them hope that they can be a better leader given our conversations and the advice provided.

This leads to HAPPINESS.

I ask this question when I host my Personality Intelligence workshops: What makes you happy?

If you immediately know what makes you happy, fabulous. Knowing what happiness looks like for your colleagues, boss and in particular, your team members (your staff) then you have the equation to create meaning and purpose in their working life. On top of that if you know this information, you can adjust your communication to talk leadership in their language.

Finally, HONESTY.

Too often I uncover in my conversations with people that they haven’t had an honest conversation with someone. Generally a team member or their boss, who hasn’t been given the honest feedback on the impact they are having on the team, the business or even the customer.

I struggle with performance management frameworks which leads to the belief that you only give feedback annually. C’mon, let get better with being honest with ourselves as a leader and honest with the people who we can influence and inspire to be better humans!

I hope you have a happy day and provide some honest feedback to the important humans in your life!

We’ve already visited A-G on the leadership alphabet. Keep reading my blogs to help you consider the words you express your leadership.

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - G

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - G

 One of the greatest books of its time (2001) - my copy proudly sits in my office library.

One of the greatest books of its time (2001) - my copy proudly sits in my office library.

Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for spending one minute of your precious time to contemplate the G words in your ‘Language of Leadership’.

At the conclusion of the workshops which I facilitate, I ask everyone to individually offer words of gratitude (and sometimes a gift of chocolate) to one person who also participated. This is done  publicly and sometimes there is a pregnant pause as people grapple with the courage to kick off the exercise. However, once the group feel the warmth and sincerity of the gratitude, I can’t stop them!

We are void of gratitude and we need to take the lead to stop and say thank you, with context, to acknowledge the people who show up in your life.

The phrase, Good to Great, is a book title. It’s notoriety is synonymous with its internal terms, ‘Hedgehog Concept’ and ‘The Flywheel and the Doom Loop’. We used this language through the ‘noughties’ in the corporate world in our bid to have: a one big thing which we did globally well and an attempt to build momentum to achieve a transformation (on numerous occasions).

What has me sharing Good to Great, ever so regularly, is the statistic of the Good to Great CEO’s (13 of them) – as their uniqueness was their humility. Most of them were introverts and all but one was appointed from within the company. The key message is, leadership isn’t about bravado and ego, it’s about the company, the customer and the employee.

Our use of good to great is applying and experimenting with the practices that we know work. They are tried and tested and it’s about the will to make it work for you.

Gut. Yep, Gut. That’s my third G word!

Do you ever hear yourself say, I can feel it in my gut or others say, “trust your gut feeling”.

In my readings of neuroscience, I learnt that almost 100 years ago, neurons from the brain were discovered in the stomach – and we are still grappling with this aspect of intuition. When you can’t observe behaviour, it is difficult to believe that this can be proven. However, so many of us can honestly say that intuition guides us in our decision making!

The importance of the gut is that it links to other brains in our body (yet, there’s more than one) which we can train to help us communicate more effectively. I continue to work with, explore and learn about the power we have at our disposal and challenge you to consider your gut and how it helps you make decisions.  This research is worth investigating - Conversational Intelligence helps us communicate as leaderships should - to move from good communicators to great communicators!

What are your G words?

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - F

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - F

 psychology.com

psychology.com

It's the F day!

We're playing The Language of Leadership.  

Think of the F words which you hear yourself say when communicating your leadership.  

I'll offer a few and I'll be interested to hear your Fs!

Feedback is over talked and underused. When you give the gift of feedback, whether that is to reinforce the positive or to identify what needs to be corrected, you are being courteous and courageous, all at the same time.

Too often we walk past or overhear language or activity which is unacceptable. We are more than likely to acknowledge great customer service and become closed lipped when someone is being rude or intimidating. This can be due to a lack of skill, lack of confidence or it may not be safe to do so.

In the workplace, feedback as a daily practice, would build a trusting, strong and ethical environment.

In all the work I do, I would help people build the skill of providing feedback, more than any other skill. What does this say about our confidence, pro activeness and accountability? I believe we have a lot more work to do in this area of communication.

This is a simple statement. Some people love facts.

It’s a great asset to have and it’s advantageous when we’re giving feedback. Facts are favorable when providing feedback. Let’s not rely on hearsay … we know what happens when we play ‘Chinese Whispers’.

Facts are useful when you’re doing your work, when applying your expertise. On the other hand, your feelings are also important. The challenge is, realising that facts and feelings are both important.

Facilitation is a skill. I’ve been working on my practice of facilitation for almost 30 years (yikes!) When you facilitate a team meeting, the outcome is illuminating. Engaging everyone in the room, setting and expecting pre-work to be completed, giving back the work and ensuring everyone has a role in the meeting (why else would they be there?) makes on time attendance the norm.

Facilitation is also about acknowledging that the answer is in the room – adults generally have the answer or know where to locate the information.

Leaders facilitate conversations – they ask questions rather than tell. They listen to responses and respond with where to find or how to develop the solution.

Do you facilitate?

It's been great to have you join the conversation sharing, your language of leadership. 

 

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - E

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - E

 My copy of Working With Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman is 20 years old.

My copy of Working With Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman is 20 years old.

My use of words beginning with E, in my Leadership Intelligence Mentoring practice, is endless! I think of the enthusiasm we need to bring change alive and the effort required to adapt our approach and style of leadership if our default style isn’t effective or appropriate.

Emotional Intelligence takes the lead of the Es! The term has its roots in 80’s psychology, and today we are still experimenting with the exercise of connecting with our emotions in addition to our thinking.

Taking an extra moment to consider why people respond a way and listening to their language lifts the heavy weight of recognizing what’s going on in someone’s world. As Dale Carnegie said, when dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.

What differentiates people are those who can connect on an emotional level – those who can gauge the feelings people are experiencing and how this impacts their work and relationships. And even more importantly, it’s the ability to self-correct – to change your course of action mid-stream as you sense you’re not achieving the outcome being expected.

Experimentation is one of the most frequently used words I use. I encourage my clients to change their behaviour, to apply their learning and give it a go. We too often sit in meetings, seminars and workshops, we’re asked to change yet we don’t take it to the practice ground. Experimentation is normal, it’s expected, and it reeks accountability and leadership. Tell people that you are experimenting and seek their feedback. Maybe it doesn’t work and maybe it’s the missing link you’ve been searching for as a leader.

What can you experiment with today? Is it saying “No”, is it giving constructive feedback or is it ‘giving the work back’? Go on, experiment with a change in your leadership approach. And, report back on how you evaluate the outcome.

Evaluation is just as important as experimentation. If we don’t know how we’re progressing with our changes, adaptations and experimentation, then we don’t know how effective we are being.

Too often leadership and associated skills are the ‘soft skills. They have a lack luster following because we don’t show the impact, the difference that our personal and professional leadership does to grow business.

Self-Assessments, audits, 360-degree feedback and evaluations are all accessible and useful to lift your leadership to a new level which will have an impact on others, will help you inspire more followers and help you influence change.

What's your go to leadership word beginning with E?

You can catch up on my previous blogs on the The Language of Leadership - on this page. 

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - C

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP

20181002_064142.jpg

Which C words come to mind?

The Language of Leadership

Conversations, Climate, Conflict & Confidence

There are so many C’s in my Leadership Language: conversations, climate, conflict and confidence are at the tip of my tongue!

What are the C’s in your leadership vernacular?

I’m playing a game to facilitate ideas, thoughts and beliefs on leadership. And, I’m curious to hear what people hear themselves saying about leadership or how others describe their leadership.

I’m sure many will say communication – it’s a gorgeous broad term and I carve it into so many components.  To begin with, I believe leadership is all about Conversations.

Conversations bring people together; they formulate relationships and craft futures. Conversations come in various forms; they can be brief (feedback) and endure for hours (meetings, mentoring, coaching).

The more time you spend having conversations with people, the more opportunity you have to gain respect which then creates trust. For some, conversations come naturally whilst others it’s a challenge. My tip do your research on people and be curious to explore what you’ve discovered – ask great questions as the conversation is all about getting to understand the people.

Climate is the vibe I feel when I walk into a workplace. It’s the gut feeling I have when I have conversations with people. It tells me more than the culture as it’s the unspoken words – it’s the litmus test for the words on the wall in the reception area. A mission and vision statement might try and sell me what an organisation does whereas the climate will tell me if the people feel happy and respected where they work. Take the temperature of your office today!

Conflict tells us what is important to people. Leaders need the capability to know when to intervene and help people move out of conflict or better still, know people so well that they know what drives them to conflict – the triggers, the situations and the behaviours.

We all experience threats to our self-worth, it’s characteristic of the cause of conflict. And this threat can be real or perceived. Managing conflict is a critical capability (double C!) to lead teams to success.

Confidence is what I hope all people can grow in their lives. Leaders need confidence to successfully do their role and leaders need to foster confidence in their people. Confidence is like climate – you can’t quite put your finger on it. I am reminded by family friends of how shy I was when I was younger, and it took effort and energy to focus on manipulating this confidence. I still work on it and sometimes I am too confident – so it’s always an area I am shaping and developing.

What C’s have I missed? What C’s are important in your life; in your role of leadership?

Have you read my two recent posts - catch up on the A’'s & B’'s of Leadership? You’ll find these under the THOUGHTS section of my website.

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - B

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP

THE LETTER B

When you talk about leadership, what are your go to words?

What is your ‘language of leadership’?

In a series of blogs this month, I am exploring how I see leadership and invite you to consider your choice of words and terms which describe your style of leadership.

Using the order of the English alphabet, I will share my selection of words daily and my reasoning for these choices.

letter b.png

Today the letter is B!

B is for behaviour, brand and best. There is no right or wrong in the selection of the words; the goal is to broaden your thinking about your practice of leadership.

Join me in my game, ‘the language of leadership’ and offer your ‘B’ word.

My three B words are:

Behaviour – it’s what we do and say that encapsulates your drive, beliefs, intent and purpose. People look to you and seek consistency in your leadership – how you communicate with people, how you self-motivate and regulate and how you deal with conflict and crisis. For me, the focus on behaviour is critical to moving from a good leader to being a great leader.

Focusing on your behaviour starts with analysing how you see yourself – how you think and feel your behave in a variety of situations. Secondly, it’s about auditing your analysis, by being more self-aware – is what you think, a reality? And, how satisfied are you – what changes would you like to see in the outcome of the way you behave? Maybe you need to dial it up more or dial it down.

Finally, ask for feedback about your behaviour. Ask specific questions about what you want to address and ask more broadly to capture what’s not obvious to you. For example, is there something I do which annoys the team, that possibly contradicts what I ask and expect of you/them?

 You need to build your brand.

You need to build your brand.

Brand – when colleagues, the chiefs and your crew describe you, what do they say? When you’ve left the office, how do they describe your membership of the business and team. Curating your leadership brand is a strategy you can implement and possibly control if your reputation is important to you and your company.

To get you started, consider key descriptions of your style of leadership. Record these and be alert to when they show up. And, what are the situations which you live out these descriptions? If you are confident, then openly express that this is your brand. Talk yourself up and ensure you deliver.

Best – I’m a woman from the ‘80’s and we were always looking out for the best practice in service, design and delivery. My focus hasn’t changed – I am always wanting to improve my game and to update my knowledge of my leadership profession.

We also talk about ‘bringing your best self’ which is simply a pause and reflect action to clear your head and consider the voice in your head (who’s driving your bus today) and how you’re planning on behaving in your various roles. You do have a choice.

I’ve only heard myself say, they bring the worst out in me, a few times in my life and I know I’ve lost control and almost given up! What I prefer to hear is, ‘they bring the best out in me’. Find the people who help you be your best – they are the companions you want for life.

What’s your B word contribution? I’d love to hear your point of view.

And of course, tomorrow is the letter C. Join me and play the game ‘’The Language of Leadership’’.

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP

During October 2018 I will play The Language of Leadership - working through the alphabet identifying words which are important in leadership. This first post is the letter A - three words I believe are important are: action, assumptions and attitude.

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HOW TO CREATE UBER MOMENTS

Don't you wish you created the iPad, Uber, AirBnB or any of these disruptive businesses?

Not for the money (well, that would be great) but for being part of making enormous positive change to the lives of people around the world. 

Or, maybe not. Maybe you prefer the status quo? 

 Airbnb the classic 'disruptor' - only 10 years old and they have put the accommodation business on it's head.

Airbnb the classic 'disruptor' - only 10 years old and they have put the accommodation business on it's head.

I consider myself to be an 'Uber' type of person - I was an early adopter to the iPad, I've had my family home on AirBnB for five years and I work for myself helping people lead others into a more effective and productive future.

I came across this 'Uber Moments' term when I decided to learn more about Agile and Agile Leadership. If you're interested to learn more yourself, I highly recommend the following two books which I discuss in this blog.

HOW TO CREATE UBER MOMENTS

The expectation of our leaders today is becoming a challenge to define.

We have businesses, communities and societies operating at different speeds, some behaving as if it’s still 1980 and those who are prepared to travel to Mars in 2030.

Whether you like it not, we are being disrupted every day; we might not know it, we might be ignorant, but we are living in an era which is seeing norms being challenged, competitors changing rules and the rise of a generation who are seeking flexible and evolving ways of working.

Gone are the days of waiting patiently – we can almost guarantee if we don’t keep up with people’s expectations, we’ll be out of business whilst the competitor pivots and responds quickly to fresh ‘uber moments’ threats.

So, here’s something to consider: if you don’t speed up your leadership, and be what is expected of you, you will become a redundant leader. The language we are speaking about is the requirement of being Agile; an Agile Leader.

Whilst the term Agile isn’t new (it’s a teenager), the need and demand for ‘agile leadership’ is becoming more common. Given the shenanigans in Australian politics these past two weeks, I wonder if we could consider that our politicians need to be agile (Oh my Lord, this is an oxymoron – an agile politician!!!)

I’ve taken my curiosity to a few books, TED Talks and Podcasts to explore how Agile Leadership fits into and expand my breadth of Leadership Intelligence. I wanted to determine if it’s a new term or just a synonym; is it a phase which easily replaces what we’re currently doing, or should we be on high alert to another reason or need to change, the need to feel uncomfortable, take our socks off and speed up our action.

Agile is and will be a mindset change for many. And to be an Agile Leader, it’s a mindset flip. A flip! The question is, “How do you flip if you’re flexibility is limited?”

This is the perfect opportunity for the digital natives out there to take the lead and show us folk representing other ‘generational ages’, what it means to work agile-ish and how they lead people in the amazing new businesses in this busy complex world.

Lynne Cazaly, author of Agile-ish – How to create a culture of agility has been working with people in the Agile space for years and in her easy-to-read book, she has served us the entrée to the meal of being Agile. Easy does it, not too much, just the right amount of information to determine if we could apply for the jobs which want: Agile Leaders.

In our fast-paced world with changing contexts, transformation is the new norm. However, we are stubborn social beings and often believe we don’t need to change. Sorry to tell you, you do. Well, actually, Lynne tells you that you do need to change and one of her processes will swiftly get you into gear: ask, listen, talk, think, practise and change again. That’s your newly created daily mantra to be a worthwhile contributor to this agile movement.

I love the simplicity of this message from Lynne and I don’t think we follow this process. Lynne’s agile-ish model includes four phases. So, this is a good start to determining how agile you might already be:

Involve – you need to start thinking about the customer, empathize how they feel and think, want and need, to get your mindset right – it is all about them, not you!

Ideate – when you know what your customer values, you then need to come up with ideas, not just you, the team that you involve as we know that more heads are better than one.

Implement – now here is where the rubber hits the road, start doing stuff with the ideas, create activity and test it out with the customer, quickly – is it what they want or not? Gone are the days of waiting a year for the finished prototype or product – you’ve got to do this super speedy and then …

Iterate – have another go at producing what you thought the customer wanted, change it up, it’s OK if you stuffed up the first batch. As Lynne says, are you tinkering or transforming … the latter is your goal.

By experimenting with this approach, you are demonstrating the behaviour which creates the culture of agility. Unless you are a start-up, it’s highly likely that you’ll need to work on your culture which fosters this linkage to the customer and speed to being of more immediate value to them.

Simon Hayward, author of Connected Leadership (2016) – How to build a more agile, customer-driven business forewarned us that we must be more agile to lead businesses in this complex world. He produced a model with five distinctive spheres which his PhD research identified, with one sphere being agility. I have used Simon’s connected leadership model with many clients to transform how they were leading their businesses/teams.

Simon has taken this Agile component to the next level and produced, hot off the press, The Agile Leader – How to create an agile business in the digital age, to explore this practice as a style of leadership.

In his ‘main meal’ offering, Simon promises to differentiate the leadership required of leaders who’ve been in the game for a few years.

The first clear distinction which kept me reading was the untraditional focus on Trust. I am a huge advocate for Trust and I suppose I naturally gravitated to the mere mention of a leader needing to ‘give trust’ opposed to someone earning their trust. (Read that again please.)

We have a society of bright well-educated individuals who need to be given the opportunity to run with ‘that project’. It’s rather easy for them and more likely challenging for you to ‘let go’. Having an agile foundation, giving trust, checking in daily briefly, is the start of being an Agile Leader.

The ‘command & control’ style of leader, who still populate our world, will struggle to imagine how this can operate given the risks and governance which squeeze the life out of people. It probably makes sense why so many ‘start ups’ start up – they want to cut the bureaucracy out of the plan and get direct to the customer quickly.

The agile leader behaves like this:

·       Clearly articulates the main thing done as a business – one-page vision, mission, strategy

·       Hosts daily huddle meetings to: check progress, give support if necessary

·       Proactively understands digital – seeking out digital natives to ‘get it’

·       Has a Learning Mindset continually reviewing progress and doing it better

·       Thoughtful decisiveness by pausing before decisions are made

At the heart of this Agile Leadership is the Agile Paradox - helping people collaborate and be involved yet at the same time disrupting them to think and operate differently. Simon emphasises that to lead agilely, you need to enable and disrupt at the same time.

Another aspect of agile leadership stood out for me, ‘put people over processes and tools’ which is the first of several Rules of Agile. With what would appear as a ‘management style of working’, this refreshing statement is paramount to be a leader, well before the Agile Leader description was coined.

What kept me reading, were the many case studies Simon shared. These stories brought the whole Agile Leadership alive. These included: Zara, AirBnB, CDL (UK), Three (UK), Facebook, and a little closer to home, The All Blacks. Probably the most famous rugby team, the All Blacks team were analysed for their agile approach. Two strategies were identified which they employed which set them apart from other rugby (sports) teams – they win and work as a team.

 An agile team - if you get the chance, watch the movie - Chasing Great

An agile team - if you get the chance, watch the movie - Chasing Great

Firstly, Double Gaze with its Japanese Samurai heritage, taught the members of the All Blacks to: keep one eye on the individual situation and one on the bigger picture. Or as one of Simon’s clients put it, ‘the ability to look around corners’. This capability enables them to thoughtfully make great decisions, at the coal face, which impacts the success of the whole team (and organisation.)

And the other notable practice is their ability to self-manage as a team. Having the skills and confidence to define together how to deliver the outcomes for the next ‘sprint’ oozes responsibility for their performance. They have transparent tough discussions about individual and collective performance which is anchored by respect and trust to enable them to continually ask: How can we do what we do better?” This is an enabler (leadership) and a disruptor (agile) – challenging behaviours and not settling for a comfortable level of co-operation.

This is all about choice. I have gathered so many insights after reading these two agile books and I have made a choice to share this information with you and several of my clients. I highly recommend you choose to learn more about agile leadership or share your agile practices with your clients, colleagues and dare I say, competitors. It’s for the greater good and who wants to be left behind – let’s design together, how to see around corners!

HOW WELL-BEING BUILDS LEADERSHIP

Well-being builds your leadership. Being self-aware, you take more notice of your behaviour and how this shows up in how you lead your life.

We demonstrate five ways that we help people put their well-being centre of attention and how this will show up in leading a more effective (and happy) life.

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Rediscover the skill of DISSENT

Are you punishing the dissenter in the room? Professor Charlan Nemeth challenges us to think about how we make decisions and how we encourage decision making in the workplace. No! is a book which will polarise the workplace community as we operating in a world which wants to get along and makes decisions by consensus methods.

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LEADERSHIP RESULTS

Your essential leadership manual for 2018 - Leadership Results guides you to take your organisation to one known for showing leadership and comprising of high performing teams.

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